Google has finally launched its coronavirus website after over a week when President Trump in a press conference said that a COVID-19 screening site would be built to direct users to testing sites. The COVID-19 screening website is actually introduced by Alphabet’s health-tech company Verily (basically a misrepresentation made by the President that the site would be solely developed by Google).
Verily’s screening and the testing site will let users complete an online questionnaire to determine whether to get tested or not. However, one thing to note is that the screening and testing tool is limited to the Bay Area which is kind of disappointing given Microsoft’s COVID- tracker though it provides the basic (but reliable information) can be accessed by users across the world.
That aside, in case you are a resident in the Bay Area you can use the testing tool by visiting the site hosted at Verily’s Project Baseline, create a Google account or connect their existing account to register and participate in the program.
Further users are required to sign a public health authorization form in order for the information needed by Verily for COVID-19 screening. Information about health and symptoms as cited by the public health officials are needed for the screening process. And if eligible the site will inform whether you qualify for free testing and where can you get the test done. Once tested, the details of the COVID-19 test report will be sent to your email.
While the process sounds good, the delay to reach mass is expected provided governing bodies in parts of the world, state regulations have certain protocols of sharing public data.
Alongside the screening site, Google has come up with a dedicated COVID-19 website that provides ‘enhanced information cards’ for users who seek corona-related details. The website includes tabs for global statistics, location-based information, prevention, etc. The website has a Health & information card with links that directs to authentic health organization- CDC, WHO. It also includes videos in ASL, an interactive map under Data & insights that show confirmed cases in the affected countries.
Reports suggest that Google might bring a question and information about local ‘drive-through’ testing locations in the future.